Monday, November 29, 2010

Where I am today...

I am 23 years old.
I've been married to Bryan for 1 year and 2 months (ish).
I work a desk job full-time.
I go to Lifegroup on Wednesdays.
I go to house church twice a month.
I go to CrossFit 4 times a week (usually).
I go to Bridgeway church on Sundays.
I've recently communicated with the worship pastor there to start singing with the worship.
I babysit 3 adorable little Newberry children pretty regularly.
I'm learning more and more how to have a soft hard and thick skin.
I'm extremely excited about my dermatologist appointment this week with high hopes my acne will be fixed by a prescription.
I am so thankful that Bryan has a job he enjoys that steadily provides for us.
I look forward to the day of children, but also don't feel ready for it.
I'm patiently waiting for the day my hair is long again.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

I am so blessed, it doesn't even do it justice to list what I'm thankful for. But the main things that are tugging on my heart today are:

My growing relationship with God, my understanding of the Holy Spirit, healing, the Gospel, and who I am in Christ.

Mentorship and friendship with other Christian people.

My wonderful, loving, giving, selfless, upright, honest, determined, hard working, strong, valiant, good-looking, funny, golden-hearted husband and our evermore amazing marriage.

Quality time with family.

Our home and everything in it.

Our jobs that we know without a shadow of a doubt that God has perfectly placed us in and portioned out for us. We are right where God wants us, and that's a wonderful feeling!

Thank you Lord. I have so many things to thank you for... and I am a work in progress. Thank you for your all sufficient GRACE!

Gonna go read Ephesians now.... a great reminder of who I am in Christ! And right now, I happen to hunger for that. (Another thing to be thankful for)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope my family enjoys my green bean casserole! ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Makes me want to sing that "Let's get is started" Black Eyed Peas song...

Y'know, being over here has turned out to be a lot better than I feared it would be. (That's what I get for letting fear reign.) But really... God has done something in me. I feel STUPID {and ashamed... Lord, forgive me?} for having ever second guessed Him. Of course this transfer was from Him. Of course He has a plan behind it for me. He promises to finish everything He starts in us. In those first moments I honestly couldn't see how any good could come from this move. But now I see. I'm re-learning and learning a lot better than I did the first time I was here. I'm more dependent on God, whom I give all the credit for sustaining my mind while I do this job. And even though, no, I do not receive my personal worth from this job, it still feels good that my trainer and supervisor think I am doing well. Like I said, I don't take that as a compliment of my own ability... because I know without any doubt that it would not be this way if I hadn't chosen to depend on God to carry me. I'm telling you, I haven't let Him carry me like that in a long time. And that feels so nice. So right!

Now I'm not going to get ahead of myself and pop the cork out of the Martinelli's just yet... I know the difficulty levels are still getting layered on and I still have questions with every file I do. But I know that if I remain in my reliance on God, He will reinforce my mind to be strong only by Him, in my weakness. This job isn't easy. I never want to allow myself to take credit for my "performance" in it. I want to keep my eyes on the cross. And keep my heart from wanting to take any of the compliments for myself. They are God's. His only. I am a mushy-brained, weak-in-the-knees, shell without Him. But WITH Him, I am strong, beautiful, admirable, and joyful, because that is how He sees me! Glorious!

It's quite a great feeling... letting go of the steering wheel. Honestly letting go. Letting God take me wherever He wants to. Maybe after this, I will be more receptive if the Holy Spirit whispers something into my heart - telling me to do something I wouldn't otherwise have been receptive to actually doing. Oh dear, Lord help me. I know my flesh is going to want to take over once again. But I welcome the growth! That's what this journey is all about.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Word

"Our suffering and our comfort aren't just for us, but for others."

Wow.

Today I threw myself a pity party.

Man, God! Why do You INSIST on stretching me? Sometimes I just don't want to welcome the challenge!

I've been moved from department to department every few months at my job which I've had for over 2 years now. To settle in somewhere was my ultimate delight. But, today yet again I was told I'd be getting transferred again, and that no, I didn't have a choice. My first feeling was, "ACK! WHY! I hate this!" My second was, tears pushing at the back of my eyes. My third was, a feeling of panic. My forth was a bit of anger at my situation. I couldn't be mad at God, or myself, or my supervisors, or anyone else... because, why? There's no one with fault. I wondered, "Could God really want this for me? This awful feeling? This THING that I can't see anything good in?" Even though in my head I know I'm more of an asset to this company because I know the work of so many different departments, and I know this is their way of dealing with shifts in work load that happen every year... my heart still wouldn't accept that these changes always have to involve ME. But this is the mortgage industry for goodness sakes, so of course it's going to ebb and flow. I knew I should be grateful that I have a good resume to keep me employed, but I wasn't feeling very grateful. Oh, why does my puny little heart react in such a disdained way when the fluctuation of life, which is always changing, scoops me up? I don't think I'm immune to it, neither do I truly want to be. But today, I was afraid to face this challenge - the task ahead of me of re-learning, learning new things, being a trainee, afraid of making mistakes, and starting yet again at the bottom of the totem pole... this still seems daunting and undesirable. But what am I to do? Will I choose to fold under the pressure that really only I can allow to be put on me, or will I rise to the occasion?

After a couple hours I decided I'd rise to the occasion. It's really not that bad. There's just some broken piece of my soul that can't handle UNEXPECTED change very gracefully. And it's not EVERY change that affects me that way. This is just one of those kinds of changes that never fails to trip me up and feed my fleshly desire to throw a pity party for myself. And that's a gross thing for me to admit about myself. Growing up, you always want to imagine yourself as an adventurous, fearless person that pulls out the Mighty Sharp Sword and cuts every challenge easily through the middle. It sucks to admit that I'm not that person through and through my truest being. I'm a scared little puppy dog eyed girl shakin' in my boots at the thought of anything uncomfortable shifting in my life. Yikes!

But now, I am settled in at my new cubicle. I was able to use the duration of the work day to read over old notes, talk with my supervisor and trainer, get my stuff situated, and get acclimated to my new position at this job and in life. I start my training officially tomorrow. I don't want to be a baby. Really I don't. So when I accept that about myself, I can then be open to the WHY...

Lord, why have You set this monstrous mountain before me to climb?

- To stretch you, challenge you, set you outside your comfort zone, make you learn, keep you from getting complacent (c'mon Mindi, you know you were), and to teach you something about yourself. You're a big baby!

Ergh.

(He's allowed to be that frank with me.)

Yeah OK, I'm a big baby. So now what?

- Look. This is a small step in your future of large steps ahead. If you handle this lot I've given you well now, you will have the experience, skill, wisdom, softness and sensitivity of heart to deal with that future large step better than if you choose to reject this lesson. Let Me be strong in your weakness. I will sustain you.

Well, crud. OK, God.

So that's that. I'm here. I'm ready. I'm willing. And I've closed down the pity party.

The 2010 Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day

The 2010 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day for the Cure began on a chilly morning with an emotional Opening Ceremony at Collin Creek Mall. We were greeted right out of the gates by the first of 11 private cheering stations at the University of Texas at Dallas. Along the route, the Richardson fire department was out cheering and taking pictures with their pink t-shirts. We passed 4 local elementary schools throughout the day with children out to cheer. Lunch was at beautiful Valley View Park and was followed by a walk along the White Rock Creek Trail before we arrived at camp, our home away from home for the weekend.

We arose early on Saturday morning after a chilly night, ready to hit the Brookhaven College jogging trail. After pit stop 1 we crossed the first of 3 pedestrian bridges, where Citibank was cheering us on. There was a huge outpouring of community support along the way - more than 21 private cheering stations. The New Balance cheerleaders greeted us at pit stop 2 along with the school mascot of DeGolyer Elementary. Lunch was hosted at the Hockaday School grounds, and students were out cheering and helping direct traffic. As we passed the last public cheering station at Valley View Mall, we strolled by a continuous mile of private cheering stations - very invigorating! Next we headed into the town of Addison and into the Komen Corral at pit stop 4. We crossed the Addison suspension bridge and were on to the final stretch. That evening, we gathered back at camp for a Candy Coburn concert.

We began our final day of walking with a warm bus ride to Ursuline Academy. Sunrise brought warmer weather in the 70s and bright skies. We enjoyed a scenic route through the gorgeous Highland Park area and another tremendous day of community support all along the route. We received many treats, stickers, bracelets, beads, water, candy and doughnuts. Lunch was at the beautiful Reverchon Park with a pink fire truck for all of us to sign and take pictures with. We exited lunch on Katy Trail and crossed into the historic West End. We passed the American Airlines Center, the JFK Memorial and Pioneer Plaza into pit stop 4 at Main Street Garden. The final miles took us through Deep Ellum and our incredible journey ended with a celebratory Closing Ceremony at Cotton Bowl Plaza with our friends and family there to greet us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

That saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Absence gets me thinking about how God made us; our hearts, our relationships, marriage, love.

After being away from Bryan for the 3Day, coming home to him was the best feeling in the world. That was the longest amount of time we'd been away from each other since we'd been married. I told him my homecoming felt comparable to the feeling of having him in my arms for the very first time. What IS that feeling?? Intense butterflies... like I'm floating in a state of love-drunkenness that I never want to escape from. I submerged myself into my husband's presence and didn't want to be anywhere else. Truly. What is any richness of life without the one you love?

This incomprehensible love is something that I'm convinced God has blessed me with. Two really have become one. Our marriage isn't perfect and that's what makes life colorful; what gives us the stories to tell of our experiences; what strengthens our love. We learn and grow together; we press into each other's chests when we can't handle anything else about life... we just want each other's presence. Sometimes I don't feel that though. Sometimes all I want to do is huddle up into a corner by myself and cry. Those are the times I know I should depend on God because He is solely whom I have to depend on. He gives us those times to nudge us to depend on Him more; closing the gap between us; deepening our relationship to make it more intimate. And that's what God also does for our marriage. He gives us each other to lean on physically when all I want is a hug from the one person in the world I couldn't bear to not have in my life. He gives me someone I trust with my whole heart to share, to listen, to help me reach a new perspective, to challenge me, and to encourage me. He gives me my husband to love me on earth the way He loves me in Heaven. Thank you God!

Sometimes we let God down and we don't love each other the way He would have us love. We have to be reminded of 1 Peter 4:8. We have to love sacrificially. I have to respect Bryan even when he isn't loving me and he has to love me even when I'm not respecting him. That's hard! God gives us this challenge. It is beautiful! It prepares us for so many things in life. It gives us wisdom for every earthy relationship with a person that God will bring us too. It gives us skill to parent. It deepens the wells of our hearts to understand others and the way God has made the world. So multifaceted. We can never fully understand everything and we shouldn't try to. But rather, take every golden nugget God sets in the path of our next step on the journey. I pray we make our decisions wisely; relying on the guidance of our Lord instead of the trickery of our own hearts, minds, and emotions. I pray we rely on God's Truth to strengthen us in battle and to give us a weapon to fight the enemy with. For our battle isn't with the world.

My husband gives me such a fullness of heart. I am grateful for this God-given gift. I pray I'll never squander it but rather water and feed it to grow into what God perfectly intends. May I die to myself so that more of God can inhabit me. Only then will this beautiful creation live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 Breast Cancer 3Day

Tomorrow I leave work at noon, meet Vickie at my house, and we begin our trek to Dallas/Fort Worth. At 3:45 I'll be rehearsing opening ceremonies as I've been chosen to be the bearer of the 'My Friend' flag. Honored. After that we're meeting up with most of our team at Babe's Chicken to eat, celebrate & socialize. We will then go to our hotel, settle in, and the rest of our Okie girls -Cissa, Taunda, & Amy- will be arriving. Friday morning I will be at opening ceremonies by 5:30am, will bear the flag during the ceremony, and then we will set off to start the first mile of our 60 mile trek. By the end of the day we will have completed about 20 miles. Saturday we will walk another approximate 20 miles. Sunday we will walk until 60 miles has been reached, we'll celebrate on our victory walk, we'll close out with the triumph together of what we've just accomplished, I'll bear the flag during closing ceremonies, and we will come home.

We'll sleep in little pink tents, shower in converted semi trailers, battle blisters and fatigue, talk, laugh & pray, and celebrate the accomplishment of the $2,300 we each fundraised.

None of it would have been possible without the kind contributions of our friends and family and the work of our Team Tiara captains & leaders! So much appreciation for you all!

It's a weekend to be excited about - and I am!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

When you realize everything else will fall into place...

"Joyful are those who listen to Me, watching for Me daily at My gates, waiting for Me outside My home!" Proverbs 8:34

Think about how this applies to us and God.

Two Sundays ago during worship at church, the Holy Spirit whispered something into my heart. Something obvious and plain... something that I've heard before and thought I believed. But we don't truly know it in our hearts unless we're practicing it. And I wasn't. At least not enough. He told me that if I gave Him the time He yearns for me to give Him of my life... that all the other little things would fall into place. I'd still have time with my husband. I'd still have time to rest. I'd still have time for CrossFit, for work, for cleaning the house, for hanging out with friends, for church activities, for reading for fun, for ministry, fundraising, and even for Facebook. I'd still have time to do creative projects, make the bed, have an hour long phone call, and even cook a meal.

Why in the world should that have hit a girl who's been a Christ-follower so long, like a ton of bricks? Well, it did for one because I know how little time I give to God. How little of my heart I really allow Him to inhibit. I'm around people and read people's Facebook statuses and can just perceive how in love they truly are with God. I know I want that. But I wasn't willing to sacrifice "me". How selfish.

Do we forget this thing we call Christianity, this thing of being a Christ-follower, this thing of believing in an ever-holy God as our Father, Healer, Lover, and Friend.... do we forget that means RELATIONSHIP? Oh! How easily we do! For just as much as we wish a friend would give us a call, or make plans to spend time with us, or want our spouses to delve into our hearts and get to know, love, and appreciate our deepest inner workings and ignite passion between us... don't we realize that God wants that all the more from us? Don't we realize our eternal lives depend on that?

We MUST act in accordance with that belief. We can't let it be like a sentence in a book on the dusty shelves of our souls.

Love God. Love Him more than you desire to be loved. Everything else will fall into place.